Torchlight is a dungeon crawler from some of the people who brought you the original Diablo. As such, the game is very similar. You click and drag the mouse to move, click on baddies to splatter them and right-click to cast your overpowered spells. Basically, it's Diablo like you always wished it was. There's one central dungeon (until you beat the Big Bad Dude™) and one central town. Although, you can buy “map scrolls” which will open portals to other dungeons. Keeps it simple and does it right.

  When you first start up the game you create your character and choose your pet. Yeah, you get a pet in this game. More on this later. Each of the character classes is a bog standard RPG killer. The Destroyer, a melee brute, the Vanquisher, the archer assassin and the Alchemist, a mage. The only real differences between the classes are the skills they can learn and their base stats. If you were so inclined you could make a melee tank out of the Alchemist. As with Diablo, the classes have set genders, but there are mods out there to change that.

  Anyway, yeah. Pets. Remember in Diablo when you had to travel back to town to sell off your junk? Well in Torchlight you can order your pet to do it for you, because everyone knows animals can be successful merchants. When you create your character, you are given the choice of two pets: a dog and a cat. It's possible to morph your pet into something else, but I'll get into that further on. Pets can be used to fetch loot from afar, if there are to many enemies to risk it (and there often are). In terms of combat, your pet can be set to three different stances: Aggressive, Defensive and Passive. While set to Aggressive, your pet will attack everything and general make life *** for you. When set to Defensive, your pet will attack anything that attacks you. While set to Passive, your pet will just walk around and do nothing. Overall, pets are something you never knew you wanted. When you are looting your way through the dungeon, you will come across fishing areas. Clicking them will trigger a microgame in which you click an icon when two pulsing rings make contact. If you succeed you will receive a fish. This fish are fed to your pet to transform them into a smaller version of standard monsters. As you level up, the variety of fish increases and the size does as well. While the regular fish only work for a limited time, you can catch larger fish which will permanently transform your pet. This can be undone by feeding it a regular fish, so don't fret.

  By the way, don't play this game if you want an epic storyline. Don't even expect a mediocre story. Basically, you have to kill the Big Bad Dude™. It should only take you about five hours to complete the main story, but you can continue playing after the endgame.

  The graphics in this game work really well. Imagine if WoW did the bad thing with Diablo. Torchlight is their *** child. It's got the same stylized look of WoW and also borrows the particle effects. Not only does it look great, Torchlight runs on unfortunately old hardware.To put this into perspective, I'm running an Athlon XP 3200+ @2.2GHz with a Radeon 9600 PRO. I run the game maxed out at 1280x1024 resolution at a 30 FPS average. The game still looks beautiful and runs good on a six year old machine. Yeah.

  Accompanying the good looks is a wonderful soundtrack. Each of the areas in the dungeon have their own music track. It's not in-your-face and it's not too sparse. I guess you'd call it an ambient soundtrack. The individual sound effects are a different story. Far to many of the attack sounds are distorted and tinny. Some of the voice-overs also suffer from this issue. Overall the sound is alright.

  Torchlight is an absolutely addicting experience and should not be passed up. It's $19.99 on Steam, which if I may add is an excellent price. The modding community is active and it even has it's own level editor. Highly recommended.


I originally posted this on a forum I post on ( ) so it's been edited a tad. Here's the original: